Between your morning conference call, afternoon meeting and then actually getting some work done, lunch is probably not your first priority. But whether you’re skipping meals because of workplace stress or to keep up with your size-four boss, you could be at risk of developing an eating disorder (ED), which isn’t just for self-conscious co-eds these days. According to eating disorder specialist Margo Maine, author of The Body Myth: The Pressure on Adult Women to be Perfect, one-third of inpatient admissions are women over age 30. And six out of 10 women admit to disordered eating, a less extreme version.
“Since so many women diet now, it’s become normal to hate one’s body and to over-diet,” says Dina Zeckhausen, founder of the Eating Disorder Information Network. And EDs can be deadly. She recommends activities that promote emotional balance and prevent eating disorders – like exercise, yoga, enjoying food in moderation, volunteering and better Life/Work balance.
February is National Eating Disorder Awareness Month. What better time to consider whether it’s an issue in your workplace?
Are you at risk? Take the quiz. Plus, 20 ways to love your body (i.e., like creating a list of all the things it lets you do).
Worried about your employees? Mental Health First Aid, AchieveSolutions.net and the Renew Center offer guidelines for employers – how to recognize it, prevent it and provide support.
What if it’s your co-worker? The National Eating Disorders Association and Dr. Joyce Brothers offer tips for starting the conversation, including approaching her about her “weight loss” and not just assuming it’s an eating disorder.
Bonus PINK Link: Want to help women in Haiti who have no food – or anything – after the devastating earthquake?
By Muriel Vega
“It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes.”
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